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Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 15:03 UK

Bilic upbeat despite Eduardo loss

Interview: Croatia coach Slaven Bilic

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic says his team can still win Euro 2008 despite the loss of striker Eduardo.

The 25-year-old suffered a serious leg injury against Birmingham in February.

"It's like Chelsea without Didier Drogba or Manchester United without Cristiano Ronaldo," Bilic told BBC Sport's Football Focus programme.

But the former defender added: "Any team can win it. We didn't get a wildcard like players do for Wimbledon - we qualified from a very hard group."

Eduardo, who has scored eight goals in his 14 games for Croatia, suffered his break when he was tackled by Blues defender Martin Taylor.


The good news for Croatia and Arsenal is that the Brazil-born striker is making good progress in his recovery at a clinic in Rio de Janeiro.

Last week, he told Croatia's Sportske Novosti: "I'm feeling well and my rehabilitation is going better than I would ever have hoped.

"I am returning to Europe from Brazil at the beginning of August, perhaps even the end of July.

"Doctors tell me by then I will be fully recovered and able to play football again. I hope so too."

Unfortunately for Bilic that will not help his team at the Austria-Switzerland tournament.

"Opponents are scared of him (Eduardo) because he's a player that guarantees goals, but I guess he's not here so I should not waste time talking about him," said the former West Ham and Everton player.

see also
Eduardo intent on swift recovery
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Injured Eduardo leaves hospital
27 Feb 08 |  Arsenal
Hansen on Eduardo's injury
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Croatia deal ends Bilic jobs link
30 Apr 08 |  Internationals
Interview: Niko Kranjcar
31 May 08 |  Football Focus


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